The stormy career of a top Navy SEAL hotspur. Commander Marcinko, USN Ret., recently served time at Petersburg Federal Prison for conspiracy to defraud the Navy by overcharging for specialized equipment--the result, he says, of telling off too many admirals. It seems that his ornery and joyous aggression, nurtured by a Czech grandfather in a flinty Pennsylvania mining town, has brought him to grief in peace and to brilliance in war. Serving his first tour in Vietnam in 1966 as an enlisted SEAL expert in underwater demolition, Marcinko returned for a second tour as an officer leading a commando squad he had trained. Here, his accounts of riverine warfare--creeping underwater to Vietcong boats and slipping over their gunwales; raiding VC island strongholds in the South China Sea; steaming up to the Cambodian border to tempt the VC across and being overrun--are galvanic, detailed, and told with a true craftsman's love. What did he think of the Vietcong? ""The bastards--they were good."" His battle philosophy? ""...kill my enemy before he has a chance to kill me....Never did I give Charlie an even break."" After the aborted desert rescue of US hostages in the Tehran embassy, Marcinko was ordered to create SEAL Team Six--a counterterrorist unit with worldwide maritime responsibilities. In 1983, the unit was deployed to Beirut to test the security of the US embassy there. Easily evading the embassy security detail, sleeping Lebanese guards, and the Marines, the SEALs planted enough fake bombs to level the building. When Marcinko spoke to ""a senior American official"" about the problem, the SEAL's blunt security advice was rejected, particularly in respect to car-bomb attacks. Ninety days later, 63 people in the embassy compound were killed by a suicide bomber driving a TNT-filled truck. Profane and asking no quarter: the real nitty-gritty, bloody and authentic.